My ski groups since you last heard from me have consisted of numerous old faces plus a couple of new ones. After skiing for a second week with Charlie the next was spent with Audrey, A Level 3 Instructor from Quebec. It's got to the point now though that whichever instructor I have, each has slightly different definitions or analogies for the same explanation. Result: confusion, I've come to the conclusion that if you do something and the instructors say nothing you're doing fine, if they give praise you're doing really well!
One of the highlights of the past couple of weeks was Dog-Sledding!! So much fun, if you ever get the chance to do it go for it!! I was in sled with my roomie Emily and Issy. Each is pulled by a team of 7-8 dogs in pairs and each pair has a specific role within the team. We got to drive the sled and all the time you have to talk to the dogs and encourage them, the more you shout the happier they are, the faster they run! Nothing can compare to sledding over a frozen lake surrounded by mountains. After sledding for the afternoon, everyone met up around a bonfire beside the lake for Hot chocolate and cookies and for cuddles with Tika, the cutest Husky Puppy in the world!! I wanted to smuggle her back to the hotel and then back to England, unfortunately so did everyone else and so after lots of cuddles and photos it was time to say goodbye and head back to Banff.
I provided one epic fall when skiing at Norquay. It was towards the end of the day and we'd spent ages working on our snowploughs, so just to relax and have a bit of fun, we went to one of the quieter slopes which is wide and not too steep, with some bumps and jumps at the edges. I decided to do a bit of backwards skiing, just to practice. The run was pretty flat, it was wide, there was no danger of me falling over a cliff. To be honest I was trying to show off, in the end I went too fast and ended up crashing into a tree-well, laughing hysterically!
This last week has been the most important week so far. We had our Level 1 CSIA course. £ days of continuous assessment of our skiing and teaching. I had unfortunately been struck down (sounds dramatic I know) with some horrible sinus-flu thing and had spent the last 3 days before in bed and to be honest wasn't feeling all that great. But anyway I was determined to at least try and do the course. We were split randomly into groups of 6-8, most of the people were Nonstoppers but our group had one guy from Canmore. We were assigned a course leader for the 3 days, ours was a guy called Patrick who was originally from Bordeaux but has lived and instructed in Canada for over 10 years. To be honest I don't actually remember all that much from the course apart from a lot of the time leaning on my poles thinking 'Don't throw up, don't throw up'. The vague memories I do have were pretty fun, but I'm not sure I'd make a good teacher. On Thursday the final day of the course, we finished pretty early about 2.30 then faced a nervous wait for the results. Most people headed to the bar while I curled up in an arm-chair and napped. Finally we were all given the good news and I am now officially a CSIA Certified Level 1 Ski Instructor!!
So now after a few days of rest, recovery and recuperation. Next week brings the start of the All Mountain Pro programme. Basically we're just going to have a lot of fun doing all terrain and all sorts of freestyle stuff!!
Here is a video of me skiing from a couple of weeks ago at Mount Norquay, not my best but better than nothing!